Before joining the Dave Ramsey team, Stephanie had a good-enough job making good-enough money. At the end of the day, though, “good enough” was boring.
She wanted to write.
Instead, she worked in a university recruitment office, trying to sell high-school students on a college she didn’t go to. While her work ethic was strong, her passion was all but gone. It was a ho-hum, eight-to-five existence.
By comparison, everyone else she knew seemed like rock stars. Friends and family were artsy and creative and worked for bright, innovative companies; they were super-smart and loved what they did. She wanted that kind of Monday-morning feeling.
So she took a bold step, and, as author Jon Acuff describes, she “closed the gap between her day job and her dream job.” She became a Quitter.
But not before going through a process, which you can follow below.
Three years into her career, Stephanie accepted the fate of a dreaded work life and allowed thoughts of “if only” to run circles in her brain. If only I’d majored in something different. If only my boss cared about my strengths.
Have you used this dangerous little phrase? “If only” kills hope by reminding us we’re not where we want to be and avoids responsibility by telling us there’s nothing we can do to change our situation.
“It wasn’t until I stopped thinking if only that I finally made a move toward my dream,” Stephanie says.
Eager for an outlet, Stephanie started a lifestyle blog and simply wrote for fun. She practiced her skill and found that she really did love to write. Stephanie warns, however, “Not everything has to generate income right away. Sometimes, personal hobbies or abilities inspire great business ideas. Start with what you know and love.”
What are you interested in that could become a passion?
The following year, Stephanie made a list of goals ranging from personal to professional. She placed her goals in the kitchen and, as the months went by, actually accomplished many of them.
Putting pen to paper and looking at your goals regularly is the best way to ensure success.
“If you’ve already written down goals for the year, be honest with yourself about how you’re doing. I had to do this with one goal in particular: Research and act on career opportunities,” she says.
Looking over her goals midyear, Stephanie realized she hadn’t made real progress in her career. It felt overwhelming, until she decided to take small steps. This made everything sound easier.
Stephanie sent an email to a local magazine editor with a link to her blog, asking for advice. The editor was kind enough to meet her for coffee, offer advice, and give her an opportunity to work as a freelance writer.
What small step can you take today toward your dream?
Stephanie advises, “Contact someone in your field of interest and ask for direction. You might be surprised by how willing they are to talk to you. I know I was! I also read books that motivated and encouraged me.”
Small steps are the key to reaching your destination.
Stephanie continued working at her day job and wrote for the magazine after hours. She pocketed extra cash, learned more about writing, and built her portfolio.
“When a position opened up on Dave’s team, I sent in the best samples of my work and got an interview. Now I’m writing full time for a company I believe in. It’s a real dream job come true!”
Not sure if you’re ready to make the leap? Jon Acuff says, “The opportunity to quit your day job will always be there. The real question is whether you’ve prepared.”
What are you doing to prepare yourself so that when opportunity comes knocking, you’re able to answer the door?
You can start pursuing your dream job today with guidance from Jon Acuff's book Quitter. Jon speaks from personal experience and offers practical tips on how to make the leap with confidence.
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